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Early Start

News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin. The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.

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Us 23, Washington 16, Chicago 15, Boehner 12, New York 11, Cnn 11, Wisconsin 10, Iowa 10, Cleveland 10, Rob Marciano 9, Connecticut 9, Volkswagen 8, John Boehner 8, Newtown 6, England 6, Rob 6, Bny Mellon Wealth Management 6, America 5, John 5, John Berman 5,
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  CNN    Early Start    News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin.  
   The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.  

    December 21, 2012
    2:00 - 3:59am PST  

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>> i think in is this is beautiful. you can only do a little bit, but you do what you can. everybody does a little bit and it means a whole lot to everybody. >> it's been a privilege to be able to do something. people are hurting and feeling bad all across the country and they want to help. there is so much compassion and love out there in the world. >> so many people wanting to help in ways large and small. that does it for us. we'll see you again tomorrow. thanks for watching. "early start" begins now. the massive winter storm that hit the midwest, it's now smacking into the northeast.
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we're going to track the storm for you straight ahead. and another day, another big fat no deal for the fiscal cliff. we go live to washington. the very latest details. and michael phelps' pick for the athlete of the year. this is a surprise. this guy, he never wins anything. good morning. welcome to "early start," everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. it's nice to have you with us. it is early, 5:00 a.m. in the east. the fury of the first winter storm is making holiday travel very difficult if not impossible. today new england is expected to get slammed by that storm. at least seven traffic-related deaths in four states are blamed on this crazy severe weather. as the storm barrelled through the plains and the great lakes, more than a foot of wet, heavy snow fell in parts of iowa and wisconsin. there were hundreds of flights canceled right at the height of the holiday travel, as you very well know. check this out. power lines sparking.
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look at that. and snapping. >> holy -- wow. >> and the storm's worst, 400,000 power customers in the region had no electricity. that number was down to 133,000 by yesterday afternoon. rob marciano, you are busy tracking it all at the cnn weather center in atlanta. what can we expect today? >> this storm moving east. it's going to impact even more people. millions across the east coast in the form of wind and rain, which will slow down travel, also knock out more power. the snow continues to come down in many spots. the video just doesn't get old here. we're talking about blizzard conditions that impacted places yesterday across eastern kansas, parts of missouri and through iowa where the huge car pileup was and across wisconsin as well. these are some of the numbers. 18.5 inches in middleton, wisconsin. washington, wisconsin, seeing 16 inches. madison setting a record at 13.3. dubuque, iowa, over a foot of
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snow. massive, massive system. the white obviously indicating the snow. that's spiraling back around through chicago. strong winds off lake michigan. winds battering the indiana and illinois coastline. this will continue to push toward the east. more snow coming down. the heaviest amounts will begin to wind down, unless you live downwind of one of the great lakes. that lake effect snow will kick into gear. new york, a messy, messy start to your day. philadelphia as well. all up and down the i-5 corridor where it's a bit of a mix. winter storm watches and advisories are posted. the i-95 corridor will be mostly in the form of rain today. big travel day, obviously, for the holidays. it's going to put the brakes on chicago, new york, boston, all the northeast airports. >> as lots of people are trying to travel in and out. thank you so much. joining us to talk about the conditions in chicago is carmen assula from the illinois
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department of transportation. good morning. >> good morning. >> let's talk about the conditions right now. what's the situation there? >> right now the temperatures are under freezing, so we're watching for freeze back conditions, the fact that the temperatures didn't decline until after midnight helped out a lot with the snowfall. there was less accumulation. there is blowing and drifting in the outlying areas. chicago expressways are still wet, and people need to be cautious as freeze back will occur. >> yeah, you got to be caful what you ask for, right? there has been no snow in chicago for so long. then you kind of get pummelled by it. i know that we mentioned this morning that there was some devastating accidents across the region there. have you had any in the area there? >> no, northeastern illinois did not get the same snowfall and accumulation that was experienced to the west of the state. >> and how do you think that the snow is going to affect travel for people? this is at the height of the season. a lot of people are traveling by car.
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what do you expect? >> well, listening to the predictions, the rain is heading east, so they need to be cautious and add extra time and just be careful out there. >> how about black ice? have you been suffering from that condition out there? >> sporadic. again, the temperatures held in the region i represent. it wasn't as bad as has been in the past. they should always be cautious. >> and no deadly accidents, right? >> no. >> that's actually -- >> fortunately. >> really, really good news. hopefully people are heeding the warning. thank you. >> thank you. severe weather in alabama uprooted a mercedes dealership's massive billboard and sent it crashing into an suv. strong winds downed power poles and other debris damaged some 50 vehicles. the offices there were hammered. nearly every storm window at the dealership was blown out. of course, you can stay with cnn. we're not getting too far away from this weather system. we'll continue to track the storm throughout the morning and the day for you.
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>> so there's no blizzard in washington, but there was something of a political tornado overnight. an epic, epic defeat for house speaker john boehner with just 11 days to go before the nation falls off the fiscal cliff. there's an enormous amount of uncertainty. house members were sent home last night after the speaker was forced to cancel a vote on his plan b, which would have extended the bush era tax cuts on incomes it below $1 million. you know, it was house republicans who abandoned him. his simple statement read, the house did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. now it's up to the president to work with senator reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. wow. all right. so cnn political editor paul steinhauser is in washington. this is a big deal. >> this is a very big deal. you could say this is a big black eye, big slap in the face for speaker boehner.
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he pushed plan b to prevent taxes going up for nearly all americans. john, let's be honest, the move here was a hope to shift the blame if there was no deal to avert the fiscal cliff. shift the blame to the democrats and to the president. well, none of that is happening now. it also weakens the hand of the house speaker because he can't get the votes from his own caucus to raise tax rates on only millionaires. here's the congressman from ohio, a republican. he spoke after the vote. he's a big backer of john boehner. take a listen. >> it weakens the entire republican party, the republican majority. it's a continuing dumbing down of the republican party, and we are going to be seen for more and more as a bunch of extremists that can't get a majority of our own people to support policies we're putting forward. if you're not a governing majority, you're not going to be a majority. >> he's retiring after the end of this year. as for the house, they're gone now pretty much until after
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christmas. that's where things stand in the house of representatives. >> so the speaker said it's up to the president to work with the senate. walk me how through this would work. >> you know, i wish i could. dana bash covered this last night on the hill. there's a lot of question marks. the speaker did say he would try to continue to negotiate with the president. at the same time, the big question is what happens on the senate side? does the senate majority leader harry reid start getting involved? what about mitch mcconnell? how involved will he get? here's a statement from the white house last night after the failure -- or after the no vote. the president's main priority is to ensure taxes don't go up on 98% of americans and 98% of small businesses. the president will work with congress to get this done, and we're hopeful to find a bipartisan solution that protectings the middle class and our economy. good luck on that.
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the senate will be here today. you have the funeral service in washington for the late senator of hawaii. a lot go to hawaii tomorrow for the funeral. the senate will probably be back after christmas. who knows what's going to happen. >> like you said, this is really uncharted territory. who knows how this is going to shake down. all we know is there's 11 days left to figure it out. thanks very much. >> is this a lethal blow to boehner, do you think? >> lethal may be going far. does hurt him. rt question is, can speaker boehner influence his own party in the house? this may weaken his position. >> absolutely crazy. >> you know what looks a heck of a lot like the fiscal cliff negotiations? the hockey season. it's not looking good. the nhl has now canceled games through mid-january because of the labor dispute. more than 600 games have been scrubbed. that's half the league's entire schedule for the year. players can decide today if they
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want to claim the lockout is illegal and sue owners. that's one more step in this whole mess. who knows when they're going to play hockey again. >> why not cancel the season? >> i think people would love it if they would work out -- first of all, people only like the hockey playoffs. that's up in the air right now. >> so not that he needed a career capper, but michael phelps has been named male athlete of the year by the associated press. he edged out lebron james. the 27-year-old retired after the london games this summer where he won four gold medals and two silver. he finished his career with 18 gold medals and 22 overall. that, my dear friends, is more than any other olympian ever in history. >> he never gets the recognition. poor guy. want to talk about an olympian dealing with other issues? a three-time olympian admits to doing a little escorting on the
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it is 13 minutes past the hour. welcome back to "early start." one week ago today, 20 kids and 6 adults were getting ready for school in newtown, connecticut. those 26 innocents were gunned down in cold blood inside the sandy hook elementary school. this morning at 9:30 eastern time, the country is invited to observe a moment of silence along with newtown. there's been an endless procession of grief to remember all of these victims. three more funerals will be held today. this morning at 9:30 eastern time in connecticut and across the entire nation, a moment of silence will be observed followed by the ringing of church bells. that will happen 26 times. cnn's poppy harlow is live in newtown, connecticut. good morning to you, poppy. >> reporter: good morning, zoraida. you see the volunteers behind me here. 5:00 a.m. in the morning, they're working trying to keep this makeshift memorial beautiful for this town.
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it's one of so many that has sprung up across newtown. at 9:30 eastern this morning, the world will be grieving and remembering with this entire community, that moment of silence will be felt around the world. also, you're going to hear church bells ringing across this town 26 to 28 times for all of the victims. the president himself, the white house says, will also observe a moment of silence at 9:30. governors from across this country from pennsylvania to florida have asked all of the people in their state to stop for one moment and remember all of the victims of newtown. this is just one week, just one week since this tragedy. the pain here, i can tell you, i've been here all week, it is raw. it is still so real, as you mentioned. three more funerals today. some for the child victims. you can't put into words the grief here. they will be remembered today in a very beautiful way. >> you mentioned, poppy, that the bells will be ringing
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between 26 and 28 times. there's been a lot of controversy about whether or not in all of this grieving you include the shooter and his mother. >> reporter: it really depends which church or which entity is ringing the bell. some will ring them 26 times for the 20 children that were killed, the 6 adults at sandy hook. some will ring them 27 times to include nancy lanza. some will ring them 28 times for adam lanza. michelle obama penned a letter that everyone will see here today when they wake up. i want to read you an excerpt. he said her heart grieves, aches for all of these families. she's a mother of two. she understands the pain. she also said, zoraida, that she was so touched by the outpouring of support from the first responders in newtown, from everyone who has helped in this community. that really stood out to me in the letter that the first lady wrote to the local paper here.
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again, that will be one of the things that greets this community this morning. zoraida. >> really appreciate that. thank you so much, poppy. live for us in newtown, connecticut. this was organized by the head of gamer fit nation. he's calling on all gamers to put down their controllers and stop firing virtual bullets in order to remember those who were killed by real bullets in newtown a week ago. >> i think that's a really interesting tribute. >> it's really great. i was talking to a mom yesterday in newtown who said, you know, that the shooter, that she looks at him as a disabled little boy. she was a teacher once upon a time. she said we have to include him. we can't leave him out. it's an interesting perspective because i know it's caused a lot of controversy. >> it's hard for a lot of people. >> very difficult. >> all right. 17 minutes after the hour. let's go to christine romans for the headlines. >> parts of new england
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preparing for a bitter start to the weekend. the deadly winter blast that barrelled through the midwest heads there today. at least seven traffic related deaths in four states are blamed on the storm. severe weather also snarled air travel. hundreds of flights had to be canceled at the height of holiday travel. three-time olympian suzy favor hamilton said depression led her to be a $6 an hour prostitute. she said she thought no one would ever find out. times are tough even if you just won re-election. president obama is scaling back his inaugural celebration with just two official inaugural balls following a swearing in ceremony on january 21st. it's the fewest number of inaugural parties in 60 years. the president had ten in 2009 after his first-term victory. the shootings in newtown, connecticut, have inspired a new
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trend on social media, 26 acts of kindness. it began with ann curry suggested her followers could perform acts of kindness. the hashtag 26 acts is now trending. that's really sweet. >> some good things have really come out of this. i'm happy to see that. thank you so much, christine. >> i have seen to many people on twitter talking about this. all right. it is 18 minutes past the hour. time for your early reads, your local news making national headlines. a newtown boy asked kids to dump the violent video games. here he is, 12-year-old max with the help of his father is setting up a bin outside the newtown youth academy sports center. he's encouraging kids to dump their violent video games in there, and he's leading the way. he's calling his came painpaign
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"played out." he's an avid "call of duty" player and doesn't think it affected him in a negative way, but says that everything has changed. >> i think that makes a lot of people think twice. >> reflect on what you can do to make a difference. in "the washington times," the u.s. on alert after the release of "zero dark thirty." the film depicts interrogation tactics including waterboarding. a senior defense official tells "the times," the u.s. doesn't expect violent protests like after the "innocence of muslims" film. but they're always on alert. >> for a look at all the top stories, head to our blog, cnn.com/earlystart. you can also follow us on facebook and twitter. we'll be right back.
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so you're looking at new york city right now where the weather is not nice. i believe the scientific term is foggy and nasty and gross. >> i kind of liked it this morning. i felt this burst of fresh air. >> you're strange. 23 minutes after the hour. we're minding your business this morning. we could see a selloff in stocks today when markets open later today. futures are down sharply more than 1% for all three major indices. >> guess what's to blame? it's because of the impasse on the fiscal cliff talks in washington. >> and foggy, nasty, and gross is also the scientific term for what's going on in washington. that's probably what you're going to see on wall street this morning. i'm suspecting a triple-digit decline. world markets reacting to the fact that john boehner's plan b failed. you're not back at square one. they've laid the ground work for both positions. it's difficult here. we're at the end of the road.
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you've already seen basically fallout from fiscal cliff. let me tell you what you've seen. you've seen tax refunds, they will likely be delayed. payroll processors have already said they needed to start making changes last week to keep up with any changes to payrolls. you know, last week is gone. gift giving, by the way, has soared because rich people -- and i don't know any of them personally -- but they're giving money away early to avoid any higher taxes on those. and early dividend payouts. companies are spending less on software and equipment because they're just waiting to see what happens with fiscal cliff. so this is a serious deal. you're going to see it today. you're going to feel it in the stock market. i also want to talk about the run on guns. we saw it immediately after newtown. it is intensifying. gun owners are saying they're selling out of these tactical-style rifles. i want you to listen to what a
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gun shop owner in newton, connecticut, told our cnn affiliate wtic. >> i could sell more if i had them. i sold all i had. there was a kid come in here yesterday. grabbed an ar-15 off the shelf, walked over and laid it down. that thing costs $1200. he didn't even hesitate. >> didn't hesitate. across the country no one is hesitating. listen to what a guy who studies wall street for a living and studies these companies for a living told me about what you're seeing, this push toward this kind of a weapon. >> more than offsetting, yeah. there's been a sharp consumer preference shift in the last several years to tactical rifles, modern supporting rifles from the traditional bolt-action rifles, hunting rifles because of their light weight, easy to shoot, and have a high capacity
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clip. the consumer likes them as well. >> they're literally flying off the shelves right now. some places can't keep them in stock. the whole point, of course, is gun owners, gun aficionados think there's going to be some sort of future restrictions on these sort of guns because newtown. and he said newtown is different. it changed the way america is thinking about these sorts of weapons. >> all right. thank you, christine. >> you're welcome. it is 26 minutes after the hour. mariah carey's voice and the u.s. embassy in poland. not two things you'd expect to go together. call it a christmas miracle. we'll have the story after this break. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families.
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we're tracking this massive winter storm for you this morning. just ahead, we have the latest path of the storm and where it is headed next. those are live pictures from cleveland. look at those snowflakes. nice and large. we're going to go there live. >> so it was not a good night for speaker boehner or in fiscal cliff negotiations. while you're walking around the christmas tree next week, congress could be up to their ears in talks. and a little bit later here on cnn, profiting after a tragedy. walmart sells out of assault rifles in some of its stores around the country. welcome back. good morning to you. thanks for being with us this morning. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. it's just raining here, but in a lot of parts around the country,
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it's just awful. the fury of the first holiday storm is making travel dangerous if not completely impossible in the upper midwest. today new england is expected to get slammed by the same storm. at least seven traffic-related deaths in four states are blamed on this storm. more than a foot of wet, heavy snow fell in parts of iowa and wisconsin. hundreds of flights canceled at the height of the travel season. this is some amazing picture. power lines sparking and snapping. you can hear it. wow. at the storm's worst, 400,000 power customers in the region had no electricity. that number is down to 133,000 by yesterday afternoon. still bad. meteorologist rob marciano is tracking it all for us from atlanta. >> good morning. bad times as far as the holiday travel. this is a big, big storm. you mentioned the heavy, wet snow piling up. over a foot and a half in some spots. middleton, wisconsin, seeing 16
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inches. over a foot in dubuque, iowa, as well. the wind is the other big concern. the snow is beginning to wind down in chicago. they finally broke their streak of snowless days. not a whole lot of snow in chicago. go just north of there in wisconsin, that's where it all piled up. mostly rain in new york. the winds are going to be a problem. at st. louis yesterday at the airport, 67-mile-an-hour wind gusts. in defiance, ohio, 55. right now it's blowing in ohio. temperatures feel like they're in the teens. in dayton alone, blowing 44 miles an hour. that's causing bad travel conditions. mostly rain across new york. the airports are going to be a mess, plus ponding on the roadways. get where you have to go today. pack your book of patience. >> be careful. all right, rob. thanks very much. >> they can watch us at the arnts, right? >> that's right. >> 24/7. 33 minutes past the hour.
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parts of ohio are bracing for up to eight inches of snow over the next 24 hours. the major concern there is high winds. 45-mile-an-hour gusts are possible. victor blackwell is weathering the storm from cleveland. those are some big snowflakes. >> reporter: yes, they are big snowflakes. and this is coming. the storm is coming. these flurries started about 3 1/2 hours ago. so far, no accumulation. the winds that rob just talked about, occasionally we get a pretty strong gust, but nothing that's consistent that will stop the traffic at cleveland-hopkins international airport. we checked with them. no major delays or cancellations from overnight into this morning. there have been some cancellations. we know hundreds of them, and delay, up in the midwest because of this storm. city officials here are watching this very closely as john said a few moments ago. seven deaths across four states blamed on this storm, including two in iowa.
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on wednesday, there was blinding snow that caused a 30-car pileup. we know that two people died in that storm. we just checked this morning. about 13,000 customers in des moines still without power on this very, very cold morning. here in cleveland, city officials know that this will get worse as the day goes on and as we go into saturday. the mayor says that the city is prepared with more than 100 drivers with the trucks. 50 trucks going around the clock to get snow off the roads. once it starts to accumulate. and there are 22,000 tons of salt to clear the roads. yes, big snowflakes. the wind right now is kicking up. they know this winter storm as we go into the first few hours of winter will get worse. >> all right, victor. we're going to continue checking in with you. thank you. of course, you can stay with cnn. we're not getting too far away from this weather system. we're going to continue to track the storm throughout the morning and throughout the day and bring you all of the latest details. we're also tracking all the developments in washington.
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could be back to plan "a" for speaker boehner or just plan panic. this after his own republicans deserted him in his plan b legislation to extend bush era tax cuts for those making under $1 million. republicans largely shunned cameras after they left last night at the capitol. now with just 11 days to go until the nation hits the fiscal cliff, the question is, what now? where, how, and with whom is a deal ever going to be made? i'm joined now by congressman michael burgess. good morning, sir. >> good morning. how are you all? >> were you in that room last night? the question so many have right now is what on earth happened? >> yes, i was in the room. i don't know the answer to the longer question that was your follow up. it was unlike anything i have seen in my brief ten years here at the nation's capitol. i will tell you it was not what i expected. i've been in these situations before where there's a tight
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vote, a last-minute conference is called. generally, it is to whip people into shape sort of. but this was not that. i do wonder, you know, this whole thing being developed off in a room somewhere where no one was involved from the congress. that's what's tricky about this. then you come back within two days, three days' time. you've got to sell it to people. you know, it's something that you show the deal to me and it's, no, that's not something i could be for. i will tell you this. i spent the last 48 hours talking to people at home and talking to tea party leaders, talking to municipal leaders, state leaders and just regular rank and file folks. their comments to me were always the same. they would say, stay strong. i would say, what do you mean by that? don't cave. well, what does that mean? they said, well, cut spending. that is the bottom line message that everyone delivered to me.
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i said, okay, but we're not talking about spending. this is the tax piece. when i would explain things like the permanent relief from the alternative minimum tax, the certainty of tax rates for everyone who earned under $1 million a year, people began to listen to that and say, that's not so bad. but i guess with the timeline involved, the speaker and the house leadership just did not have time to develop that story. here's a news flash for you. we don't always communicate that well on the republican side. >> wow. you think it's a lack of communication. it's fascinating to hear you talk about being right in the middle of this confusion, even having a hard time communicating to your own voters about it. let me give you a couple different takes on what went on and what went wrong. the first is from "the wall street journal." with a narrow deal on taxes, mr. boehner figured he could live to fight another day on spending, but it's a measure of the mistrust the president has engendered that many republicans didn't want to give up even this much on taxes in return for nothing at all. that's "the wall street journal"
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today. is the president to blame here? or is this more an issue of speaker boehner not being able to get his own republicans in line? >> i don't know if it's a case of the president being to blame. this is clearly what the president wanted. that's been obvious for some time. the president has wanted the tax increases that are going to start on january 1st. he's wanted the cuts to defense that are going to kick in with the sequester. he'll protect some of the cuts on the domestic side. i really believe this is what the white house has wanted all along. i've talked to more senior members in the past couple days, people who have served with five presidents. they say they have never seen a president not engage on something with the this much importance. i think that's telling. >> but the president has proposed tax cuts, raising taxes only on those making $400,000 or more. he's also talked about significant changes to the cpi, which would change social security benefits, reducing them
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over the long term. he has made some proposals here. >> very, very limited bits and pieces. you know, i don't remember lbj. i wasn't up here when he was president, but i remember him from back in texas. he was famous for getting the opposition on the phone and wearing them down. i mean, president has a lot of power. unfortunately in this case, it was only between him and the speaker. that really was -- again, it was a difficult part of this. these types of things should happen in our hearing rooms, on c-span. you all should be able to cover them. it shouldn't be in some secret room at the white house. very difficult job for the speaker to go down there and go up against the full majesty of the president of the united states. >> let me give you one more take on what happened last night. this comes from a republican congressman. granted, he's leaving congress soon, but this is how he describes what happened. >> it weakens the entire republican party, the republican
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majority. it's the continuing dumbing down of the republican party, and we are going to be seen for more and more as a bunch of extremists that can't even get a majority of our own people to support policies that we're putting forward. if you're not a governing majority, you're not going to be a majority. >> your reaction? >> well, look, very, very difficult for the republican house to be a governing majority in many ways. in 2010, the voters sent a majority in order to be a restraining order on the obama administration and some of their policies they'd done in the first two years of the first obama administration. the president has a choice. if he wants that to continue for these next two years, then he very much can have that. at the same time, i do think the president is going to have to show presidential level leadership, not partisan leadership. that's what we've seen these past couple weeks. but he is going to have to engage with members of congress. he can't keep shutting us out. remember, there are 435 house members. look, i don't know what will
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happen next. i rather expect harry reid will send something back over to us. remember, tax bills have to originate in the house of representatives. this is going to be a tough slog. you know, maybe there's some good news in all of this, though. the fact that the deficit is so high and the deficit is what is the most destructive feature in our future, the president has talked about wanting to go back to the clinton tax rates. now he gets every one of them. the problem is, you also have obamacare taxes heaped on top. those people who see their dividend taxes go from 15% to 44% are in for quite a shock. >> i thank you for coming in and talking to us this morning. a confusing morning, epic in many ways. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. and in other news this morning, walmart is selling out of assault rifles at some of its stores. i want to repeat that because this is incredible. walmart is actually selling out of assault rifles. this after 26 people were slaughtered with an assault rifle in connecticut. that story after this quick
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so while public opinion appears to be shifting some on gun control in the immediate aftermath of newtown, walmart stores are selling out of some rifles. according to bloomberg, searches for five kinds of semiautomatic rifles on walmart's website showed them out of stock at stores in five states. you can't buy them online, but you can see if they are available in your area. rival dick's sporting goods suspended sales of modern rifles this week. they plan to continue to sell guns, quote, safely and responsibly. this is a group of mothers motivated by the tragic shooting at sandy hook elementary school. they're banding together to push for stronger gun laws. they want their group, women against assault rifles, or w.a.r., to have as much effect
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on gun legislation in america as m.a.d.d. has had on drunk driving laws. i met up with these mothers yesterday. >> i have never cried so much, never. they would not let me go to her school. they would not let me take her out. they could not answer the phone. we had no idea what was going on. >> she's not a sandy hook mom. her nightmare happened just three days after the massacre when her first grade daughter's school in richfield, just 20 miles away from sandy hook elementary, was locked down after someone reported a suspicious man dressed in black wearing a mask and carrying what appeared to be a rifle. >> i have never felt so helpless. when i could finally get her, i only now understand what those parents in newtown must have felt. it is something that should never, should never happen to a parent. >> the threat turned out to be nothing. a masked man was arrested, but he was carrying an umbrella. that scare had urged these moms
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even further into their mission to end gun violence, a mission that began on december 14th, the day of the newtown tragedy. she rallied her subscribers to take action, to strengthen the nation's gun laws. >> i do know that a couple of our subscribers have nieces and nephews that were -- that passed. people in our organization are going to funerals every day. >> it's power in numbers and emotion. and this feeling we have to protect not only our families -- because we can sit here today and say we're lucky, but we might not be lucky next month. this cannot be a trend that continues. >> but how to make our children safe, that's a dialogue these moms continue to have. >> for me, a gun is not a foreign object, which i feel like maybe to some of you guys it is. that doesn't mean that i think that it shouldn't be limited and there shouldn't be limits placed on what is sold and what people are allowed to own.
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there really is no need for an extended capacity magazine. anything bigger than a standard clip, i don't get it. >> i think that's an enormous and very important first step, but i think there's so many steps beyond that. i think the real -- the formula for me that i see in my brain as very clear, less gun availability equals less gun violence. >> but what they do agree on is a federal ban on assault rifles. >> we all have very young kids. there are more kids coming into this world, and we still have a lot of time to fix it, to put in a lot of effort and to put in resources to put our voices together to leave them a better place. >> this is not a one-month fix, it's not a one-year fix. it's a decade-long fix. sure, one week after this tragedy, we're all still shaking. but how are we going to keep this discussion, how are we going to keep it sustained for the next six months, for the
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next year to make sure that our politicians know that this is not going to just go away come next election time. >> the members of w.a.r., women against assault rifles, which was just officially started yesterday, have already been taking decisive action. they're meeting with connecticut congressman to discuss new legislation and the brady campaign to organize a million moms march in washington, d.c. this is what they have scheduled. they have a march planned on march 14th in hartford, connecticut. that will be the three-month anniversary of the newtown shooting. ladies -- i say ladies because this a movement of women. to find out more, check out their website, warr.com. women across the country have had a visceral response to this. this organization has 5,000 women. they're trying to make it a national organization so they can have the same kind of impact that m.a.d.d. had on this country. >> and they want to take action right now. >> they know it's a long-term commitment. they totally understand that as
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well. i wish them all the luck in the world. it is 15 minutes after the hour. i want to give you a little news that will make you smile this morning. check out these clever high schoolers who helped a classmate's dream come true. she's legally blind. she wanted to know what driving a car is like. they helped make it happen. if you think running a restaurant is hard, try running four. fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
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53 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date.
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here's christine romans. >> parts of new england preparing for a bitter start to the holiday weekend. a deadly winter blast barrelled through the midwest. at least seven traffic -related deaths in four states are blamed on this storm. also, hundreds of flights had to be canceled right now at the height of holiday travel. the house is in recess this morning, not back until after christmas. the fate of negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff up in the air. house members were sent home after speaker john boehner suffered a major political defeat, forced to cancel a vote on his so-called plan b, which would have extended bush era tax cuts on incomes under $1 million. he lacked support from republicans and worldwide markets are down on this this morning. feel good story right now. it's every high school kid's biggest holiday wish, a license to drive. students at one school in washington state made that wish come true for one classmate, even though she's legally blind.
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she's legal lly blind after a re eye disorder erased her vision. she's only able to see tiny lights. so the students strung christmas lights. guided by a driver's ed teacher, she drove for the first time on her 18th birthday. isn't that cool? >> good for them. >> we're always talking about teenagers and the terrible things they do. look at that. i love that. >> random acts of kindness. we like it. check this out. ♪ i don't want a lot for christmas ♪ ♪ there is just one thing i need ♪ >> this is diplomacy at work. u.s. ambassador and his staff in poland are wishing everyone happy holidays with this video. they're awesome. staff members joined in their own viral version. this is mariah carey's version of "all i want for christmas is you." this has received more than 100,000 hits on youtube so far. look at that. they have moves at that embassy.
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>> they know how to have a good time. so much fun. all right. 55 minutes past the hour. first, from stocking up to hooking up. how people are spending their last day on earth. we're at walmart with the simmons family. how much is your current phone bill? four sixteen seventy six a month! okay, come with me -- we're gonna save you money. with straight talk at walmart, you get unlimited talk, text and data for only $45 a month per phone. would we get the same coverage? same coverage on america's best networks. you saved $146.76 by switching to straight talk. awesome! now you can afford
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welcome back to "early start." 58 minutes past the hour. i'm zoraida sambolin along with mr. john berman. we're looking at the top cnn trends this morning. >> nothing is bigger than this. apocalypse now. today is the day the world is actually supposed to end according to some people's interpretations or misinterpretations of the mayan calendar. even though many experts say
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they're nuts, you know, the world we don't think will end today as the case may be. >> i don't know. you never know. it's not the end of the day yet. it's december 21st, and we're still here. the late night comedians had fun with the end of the mayan calendar. >> by the way, according to the mayan calendar, friday is the end of the world. i think starting a little early. i was thinking about this. you know what? there is a sign of the apocalypse. here's a sure sign of the apocalypse. the new york knicks are in first place. i'm telling you, if that's not the end of the world. >> boy, it was cold. it was snowing in nevada last night. they got snow. it was so cold. i was shivering like a mayan heading for the a mayan heading fiscal cliff. it doesn't make any sense, really. >> i hate to be a buzz kill, but according to the mayans, the world is ending tomorrow.
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of course, for me, it ended with the series finale of "gossip girl". >> here's what's going on. after three years and six seasons, the final episode of "jersey shore" aired tonight. or, as the mayans put it, so we're off by one day. >> so, you know, nasa has actually been flooded by calls of people wanting to know what to do. i guess nasa is the place to call if you are afraid of the end of the world. many people stocking up on supplies and in new york and elsewhere, all kinds of big parties for people looking for one final fling. you know what i'm talking about there. >> what was that? >> one last final fling. you know what i'm talking about there. "early start" starts right now. >> one last final fling. all right that massive winter storm that hit the midwest is
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now smacking into the northeast. we're tracking the storm for you, straight ahead. another day, another big fat no deal on the fiscal cliff. a big embarrassment for speaker boehner. live to washington with details, coming up. >> michael phelps picked for at letat athlete of the year. may describe you when you see who he beat out. >> he has enough. >> enough accolades. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. the winter's first major storm making travel dangerous if not impossible in the upper midwest. today, new england will get slammed by the same storm. seven deaths blamed on severe weather as the storm barrelled through the plains and the great lakes. a foot of wet, heavy snow fell in iowa and wisconsin. hundreds of flights canceled right at the height of holiday travel. check this out. amazing picture.
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just listen to it the power lines sparking and snapping. the worst of the storm, 400,000 power customers had no electricity, down to 103,030 right now. meteorologist rob marciano tracking it for us. >> we have a number of reports of thundersnow. that's when you know there is a tremendous amount of lift within a snowstorm. we had that throughout the day yesterday. the center of it, right about there. pretty much right over toledo. the back side of it, all cold. but a lot of wind as well. the front side, mostly wet, heavy rains. chicago, you have a little bit of snow to break your streakless days. iowa, a foot, foot and a half of snow fallen. snow coming down pretty good in michigan and blowing sideways
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across ohio with wind chills in the teens. the warm sector has rainfall. heavy rain from philadelphia to trenton, newark, new york, white plains, fairfield county and back up to the i-95 corridor. a lot of wind with this as well. not only ponding on the roadways, but winds will cause air travel delays and serious wind advisories, issued for a good chunk of real estate from the canadian border through dixie. 45, 50-mile-an-hour wind. here is the verification. 67 mile winds gusts and snows will pile up away from the big cities and continue to pile up away from up. >> thank you very much, rob marciano. it is nasty, including in ohio. a snow-packed start. the area bracing for 8 inches of snow in the next 24 hours. the major concern? 45-mile-an-hour wind gusts are possible. victor blackwell, is weathering the storm in cleveland. what's it like there right now?
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>> reporter: well, rob was right. we're getting this sideways snow. you will see it in the shot that the gusts are kicking up now. no real accumulation of the snow, but overnight, it switched from a very cold rain and consistent wind overnight into the flurries at about 2:30 we saw. we know that this is not enough to cause any problems at cleveland hopkins international airport, but chicago o'hare, one of the busiest airports in the country, reported last night, 350 flights canceled at that airport, another 150 at midway. more than a quarter million travelers are expected to pass through the two airports today. as they travel for christmas. great timing for the start of winter. terrible timing as people start their christmas break. here in the city of cleveland, the mayor says once the snow starts to accumulate and they expect that it will, they are ready with more than 100 plow truck drivers working around the clock. ready to stand by. more than 50 trucks and 22,000 tons of salt.
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we also know that this has been a deadly storm in the midwest. seven deaths blamed on the storm, including two people who died on wednesday in a blinding snowstorm on interstate just outside of ft. dodge, iowa. 30-car pileup in that area. of course, this will continue throughout the day. no accumulation, but the winds are kicking up. back to you. >> all right. victor blackwell in cleveland, bracing for a long, snowy day. five minutes past the hour. severe weather in alabama uprooted -- look at this. come it over you. a mercedes dealership massive billboard and sent it crashing into an suv. strong winds, downed power poles damaged 50 vehicles on the lot. the offices were hammered as well. nearly every storm window at that dealership blown out. >> stay with us here on cnn. don't get too far away from the tv. we'll keep you updated on the storm, track it and keep you
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posted on travel, everything else you need to know. >> be careful if you are hitting the roads. a blue christmas for house speaker john boehner. his own party turned his back on him last night when he was forced to cancel a vote on plan "b" which would have extended bush-era tax cuts on incomes below $1 million. house members abandoned bainer in droves. the house did not take up tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. now it is up to the president to work with nor reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff with 11 days to go. let's get some political perspective from paul stine hauser. how bad is this for john boehner. >> pretty bad. a black eye, slap in the face. the way to save most americans from having tax increases. this was a pliolitical move, th
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plan b vote would have shifted the blame from congressional republicans to democrats and to the president. john boehner didn't get any of that at all and now his hand is weakened in negotiations from here with the president, because he couldn't even get his own caucus to agree to raise taxes on millionaires. kochman steve tourette of ohio, a big boehner backer. he spoke to us after the failed vote. take a listen. >> i think the entire republican party, continuing dumbing down of the republican party, and we are going to be seen more and more as a bunch of shams who can't get a majority of people to support our own policies we're putting forward. if you're not a governing majority, you won't be in power very long. >> they won't be back most likely until after christmas. zoraida. >> boehner takes a big blow.
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what about the american public in 11 days? another big blow. what happens? >> that is the big question, what happens next. boehner told a lot of members of his coalition last night he hopes to continue negotiations with the president. we'll see if that happens. other big questions. what does the senate do now? senate majority leader harry reed do? what about mitch mcconnell? the white house put out this statement, the president's main priority is to ensure taxes don't gun on 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses in a few short days. the president will work with congress to get this done and we are hopeful we will find a bipartisan solution quick that will protects the middle class. the president may be going to hawaii for a few days and right back here after christmas. >> paul steinhauser in washington, thank you. if you are looking for relief from the fiscal cliff, don't look toward pro hockey. the nhl has canceled games through mid-january because of the labor dispute.
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that is half the league's whole schedule. players could decide if they want to claim the lockout is illegal and sue the owner. a big hot mess. so not that this guy needed a career cap. olympic swimming great michael phelps has been named male athlete of the year by the associated press. he edged out lebron james. second time he's been honored by the ap. the 27-year-old phelps retired after the london games this summer, where he won four gold med medals, and two silvers. 18 gold medals and 22 overawll. more than any olympian ever. >> it is impressive. not the olympic story everyone talking about. a three-time olympian admits to doing a little escorting on the side. find out who we're talking about after this quick break. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive!
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[ tylenol bottle ] me too! and nasal co [ tissue box ] he said nasal congestion. yeah...i heard him. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. welcome ba to "early start." just over three hours now, at 9:30 a.m. eastern time, a moment of silence will be observed in connecticut and across the country. church bells will toll 26 times for children and adults gunned down in the sandy hook elementary school exactly one
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week ago. poppy harlow live in newtown. i can't believe it's just been a week. >> reporter: you know, john, being here, it's hard to imagine or put into words what these families are going through, what the one-week mark will mean for them. still so raw, so real, three more funerals today for the victims. they are trying to mark this day with a moment of silence. a very important moment, when i think literally the world will be standing alongside this community saying we support you, we are with you and our hearts go out to you. as you mentioned, church bells will toll for all of the victims across this town, across the country, and around the world. it will be a beautiful sound and we'll carry that live for you here on cnn. governors across the country in 28 states, asking their residents to mark moments of silence, people wearing green today. the school color of sandy hook. also residents this morning will be greeted in their local paper in newtown by a letter from first lady michelle obama, just
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saying once again how much her heart goes out to all of the victims and their families here, john, so it's a very important day for this entire community. >> poppy it really does seem so many things have changed in the past week. so many things different. the world completely different. one thing different, the debate over gun control, and the president weighing in again this morning on the issue. what's he saying? >> he is. this video just being released from the white house, the president making about a 2 1/2 minute address to the american people. he prefaced this by saying that he is a supporter of the second amendment, the right to bear arms and he noted, importantly i think, john, that most gun owners in this country are very responsible, but he also clearly outlined where he thinks we and congress need to draw the line. >> here is what i think we should do. this week i called on congress to take up and pass common-sense legislation that has the support
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of the majority of the american people, including banning the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and making sure criminals can't take advantage of legal loopholes to get their hands on a gun. >> reporter: you can bet, though, even in the wake of this tragedy, john that will be a fight. we are expecting to hear from the national rifle association at about 10:30 today in washington, d.c. we will see what they have to say in this debate over gun control in this country will go on and on in the wake of newtown. >> all right. poppy harlow in newtown, it certainly will. thank you very much, poppy. >> 15 minutes past the hour. here is christine romans. parts of new england preparing for a bitter start to the holiday weekend. the deadly winter blast heads to new england today. several traffic related deaths in four states blamed on the storm. severe weather also snarled air travel. hundreds of flights canceled at the height of holiday travel.
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three-time olympian suzie favor hamilton says depression drove her to work as a $600 an hour prostitute. she says that was a huge mistake but says she never thought anyone would find out. hamilton says she fell on purpose in the homestretch of her 1,500 meter race in the summer games when she realized she couldn't win the gold medal. a crowd waited to get a new pair of air jordans got so unruly that police responded with pepper spray. when stores opened on thursday in alabama, the mob got out of control. everyone refused medical treatment because they didn't want to lose their place in line. they didn't want to lose their place in line to get the $185 sneakers. two brothers from south florida, being honored for taking quick action after a car slammed into a bus stop. 18-year-old twins austin and conrad heinz beat out 8 0 other
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students to earn the do the right thing award. they helped lift a car off a 16-year-old, eric quinn, pinned underneath the vehicle. >> good for them. a substitute teacher from northern california, a millionaire, after being declared the sole heir to gold coins. they were found in the carson city, never, home of the woman's cousin who died this summer. she is not talking about the new-found wealth. the carson city clerk is going into hiding and won't tell him where. >> i have a lot of cousins, and none of them will give me $7.4 million for coins. the faa has given the official go ahead for the reindeer powered sleigh. nor ahe norad will be tracking st. nick as he leaves to deliver presents to children around the globe.
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we personally at my house have been sending the elf santa, every night. waiting with baited breath. >> do you know about the elf? >> behavior modification at its finest. a run on guns. why gun sales are soaring following the school shooting in newtown, coming up. why not make lunch more than just lunch? with two times the points on dining in restaurants, you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. [ engine revs ] ♪ ♪
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good morning, new york. how are you on this fine morning? a little foggy out there. rainy. but otherwise perfect in new york city. good morning. minding your business. we could see a sell-off in stocks when markets open a little later this morning. u.s. stock futures down sharply. more than 1% for all three major indices. >> you can thank the fiscal
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cliff impasse for that. merry christmas, washington. christine romans with more. >> merry fiscal cliff-mas. for some reason, i have been launching this story for so long. when i don't have to say fiscal cliff one day it will be like christmas all over again. stocks, triple digit decline for the dow jones industrial average. a major sell-off in part, because world markets saying they are very concerned about what happens with the fiscal cliff. the fallout felt in the economy. tax refunds could be delayed. a lot of people could pay higher taxes if there is not an amt patch. that's bad. payroll processors are furious and scrambling to figure out what to do. gift giving has soared among people trying to get out of higher taxes next year, and early stock dividends payouts. companies are paying early stock dividends because they think
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investment taxes will go up next year. paying those out early. also watching here the run on gun guns this has against phied. walmart is running out -- i think 1,200 locations they sell tactical rifles like the one used to kill the teachers and students in connecticut, they are running out of them. gun shops reporting huge demand for these sorts of guns. listen to one gun shop owner. this is a gun shop in newtown, connecticut. listen. >> i could sell more if i had them. sold all i had. a kid come in here yesterday, grabbed an ar-15 off the shelf, walked over laid it down. i mean, that thing is $1,200. >> so yesterday i asked an analy analyst, wall street analyst who covers the gun industry, ammunition industry. i said what's the allure of this part -- the fastest growing part of the market? is it offsetting traditional
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firearms? >> well, more than offsetting, yeah. there has been a sharp consumer preference shift in the last several years to tactical rifles, modern sporting rifles from the traditional bolt action hunting rifles because they are lightweight, they are easy to shoot, ergonomically superior and high magazine capacity. very same reasons why the military uses these types of firearms, the consumer likes them as well. >> one report has mexican drug cart cartels, second most preferred gun, the same kind of gun that the public is running out to buy right now. i want to tell you, we don't know how many guns people are buying. we don't track gun sales in america. you can see how demand has grown over the past ten years, 16.8 million background checks, not all of those will turn out to be purchases, of course, but 16.8 shows you the trend of purchases over the past ten years. since november, since the
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election, have you seen huge, huge demand growth for gun purchases. >> what's -- the one thing we need to know about our money? >> stocks, looking like an ugly day today, but 2012 has been a great year for stocks. the s & p 500, best indicator for stocks in the 401(k), up nearly 15% this year, i encourage everyone now at the end of the year, to take a good look at how are you balanced, what your priorities are, your strategy, don't be selling out and getting in because of one day's move in the markets or even about the fiscal cliff. make sure you're balanced properly and i'll tweet out, put on facebook pages a link to help you do that. thank you. >> thank you very much. coming up, power lines spark and snap. thousands of people in the dark. more stuck at the airport, or a motel somewhere. latest on the blizzard, straight ahead. >> i never have heard anything like that. from the best players in history to the number 1 club in the world.
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we're tracking this massive winter storm. ahead, the latest path of the storm. where it's headed, next. >> it was not a good night for the fiscal cliff deal apparently. so while you're rocking around the christmas tree next week, congress will be up to their ears in fiscal cliff negotiations, we hope. ms. usa crowned ms. universe this week in one of her first stops since winning? cnn. coming up live this hour. >> are you just a little too excited about this. >> a little too much. welcome back to "early start." i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. nice to have you with us this morning. talk about a nightmare before christmas. winner's first major storm makes holiday travel dangerous if not impossible in the upper midwest. today, new england will get slammed as well. at least seven traffic-related deaths.
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the storm barrelled from the plains to the great lakes, more than a foot of wet, heavy snow in parts of iowa and wisconsin fell. hundreds of flights canceled at the height of holiday travel. check this out. look at this. and listen to it. this is incredible. i have never seen anything like this. the storm's worst, 400,000 power customers in the region had no electricity and that number down to 133,000 by yesterday afternoon. meteorologist rob marciano tracking it all for us from the cnn weather center in atlanta. trying to check flight delays at this stage of the game. tennessee, more than an hour, jfk showing delays, kansas city, st. louis, not sure what's happening in chicago. what are we expecting today? >> more in the way of delays. jfk, wind gusts 40 miles an hour, st. louis, kansas city, de-icing, had snow and cold yesterday and winds and blowing, snow blowing across parts of
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chicago as well. 22 degrees. wind chills in the teens across the great lakes, including parts of ohio. 67-mile-an-hour wind gust in st. louis. they have the cold, crossing 40-mile-an-hour wind gust and the snow. here is your big pinwheel. the center of the storm over toledo. the front side, a lot in the way of rainfall. snow piling up. no blizzard warnings, but that doesn't mean there won't be blizzard conditions at time. parts of southern michigan and parts of ohio, wind chills in the teens, but drops vice inlt and causes snow to drift as well. rainfall heavy across the new york metropolitan area. the heaviest amounts of rain. sleet mixed in "across americac upstate new york. potentially damaging winds from the canadian border to central georgia. 40 to 50 mile an hour gusts, and high wind advisories through
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chicago. the winds across southern part of lake michigan are gusting over 50 miles an hour. imagine the waves pounding right now the indiana coastline. here is what we expect in amounts of snowfall. the great lakes, maybe up to a foot of snow. i-95, mostly a wind and rain event and ch will make travel sloe enough as it is. >> rob marciano in atlanta, thank you. a snow-packed start to the weekend in northeastern ohio. the area bracing for up to 8 inches of snow. the major concern, high winds that rob was talking about. 45 mile an hour gusts are possible. victor blackwell in cleveland, how is it going there? >> we still have big, fat snowflakes blowing sideways, zoraida, i brought my ruler in case there was accumulation. but so far, look. there isn't any. a few puddles and the path is wet. a dusting across the ground. as you said and rob said.
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the major concern today will be the wind. we checked in with cleveland hopkins international airport. so far, no major delays, no problems there. we're waiting for an update from chicago's department of aviation. one of the busiest airports in the country is chicago o'hare. midway is there as well. at about 7:30 this morning, you'll give us an update on the situation there. we'll bring that to our viewers, last night, between the two airports, 500 cancelations into and out of that airport and more than a quarter million passengers are expected to travel througha airport today. here in the city of cleveland, the mayor says if it gets really bad, like it was in wisconsin and iowa, and in illinois, they are ready. they have more than 50 plow trucks, more than 100 drivers ready to clear the roads and more than 22,000 tons of salt. at the end of today is the start of the school break for the students here to go up to the holiday break, so, you know, they will be able to my in tplae
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snow. for the people driving in this, not able to see more than six feet in front of the car, not good to start the holiday travel season, zoraida. >> really dangerous. a lot of people dieing to see the -- i hate to say that, because people have died. how did you think of getting a ruler on the live shot. really? you are going to measure the snow? >> i was thinking, no way to accurately say how much snow is on the ground. how can you do that? get a ruler, 49 cents. >> brilliant. thanks a lot, victor, appreciate it. stay with cnn. not getting too far away from the weather system. we'll continue to track the storm throughout the morning and throughout the day. victor will check on the flights. could be problems traveling. >> every report whoever ever has done a weather live shot brought a ruler. i have lost six of m
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rulers. >> in chicago i have never taken a ruler, ever. >> must not get much accumulation there. in washington, a stunning turn of events over the battle over the fiscal cliff. house republicans imploded over john boehner's plan "b." it would have raised rates on people making more than $1 million if a deal couldn't be reached by the end of the year. the vote never even came and boehner released a statement that said in part, "the house did mott take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass now it is up to the president to work with senator reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff." then they went into recess for christmas and went home. what now? let's bring in congressman joseph crowley, democrat from new york. are you the democrat and i'm sure had you the rare and i'm sure welcome opportunity to look at this from the outside as it was happening. what's your take on it? >> it's bizarre, john. we're still trying to figure out
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exactly what this all means, but it's really remarkable that the republicans would leave town with such important issues like the economy of our country to me, very irresponsible. we were expecting to hear a message from the speaker or majority leader that we would be working at least through christmas eve. and now that's not the case. but what i want to say is i think there is still time. democrats are prepared to work, and come back here and get this thing done before the end of the year and before we go over the cliff. >> the speaker has kept his members on a short lease, he prepared to come back in 48 hours. doesn't seem like it would happen before christmas, but maybe right after. in his statement, he looks to the president to work with senate majority leader harry reid to work out some sort of a
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deal this is what the majority leader, "it is now clear toto protect the middle class from the fiscal cliff, speaker boehner must allow a bill to pass with a combination of democratic and republican votes." the message here is this. to get something through the house now, you need something more than just republican votes, both republican and democratic votes. where is the sweet spot, do you think, congressman? >> that's a great question. in reality, they could not get a bill that would give millionaires a tax cut, so it really shows that from their prospective, they are in utter chaos. it probably means that at some point they have to come to reality to stop us from going over the fiscal cliff. have to work in a bipartisan way. i would suggest a bill ready at the we can take up. we can also examine the president's proposal. >> let's examine the president's
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proposal. he's offering something not completely popular with members of your own party. a lot of people on the left concerned that changing the cpi the way inflation is measured, could lead to social security cuts, things tantamount to social security cuts. what the house minority leader nancy pelosi said about this. >> said to the members, express yourself, speak out against. i'm not thrilled with the president's proposal. it's it's what it is in order to save the day, that doesn't mean we don't all identify with every aspect of it. >> do you consider that a benefit cut? >> no, i don't. i consider it a strengthening. that's neither here nor there. >> congressman, can you vote for these changes? >> i don't like that aspect of -- what i'm told is in the president's plan. and as i think the speaker said, it's a question of whether or not we actually allow ourselves
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to go over the cliff. i think we're looking at some very serious issues here. what i can tell you is that the failure of the republicans to even sit at the table and negotiate with the president, i think is even worse. so, look, we all understand we don't want to negotiate against ourselves you have some wins, some losses. i would prefer we didn't go down that path. i would prefer we do other things, but we'll wait and just see what the republicans do, what weather they come back and negotiate with the president or not. >> 11 days left, sir. hope you can work something out. thank you very much. 39 minutes past the hour it seemed like the world would end before we named another ms. universe. this woman has the crown. ms. usa and ms. universe. joins us live right here on cnn. good morning. [ roasting firewood ]
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we have a lot going on this morning. an exciting morning ahead. let's look at what's ahead on "starting point." talking about plan "b." republicans didn't get enough support to vote it through. now what? they need to figure out some way
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to compromise together, don't they? or we go off the cliff. debbie wasserman schultz joins us. we'll talk to her about what happens next. newtown, one week later. the next step forward for that community and whether the tragedy is changing the tone of journalism. and are we having a serious debate about guns? how much should the press be involved in that debate? talk about that this morning. and the saying goes, a picture worth 1,000 words. superstorm sandy to a celebration in egypt. the stunning photos that tell the story of this past year. that and much more, at the top of the hour. >> thank you, soledad. it is 43 minutes past the hour. for the first time, first time in 15 years, an american has brought home the ms. universe crown. >> and ms. universe 2012 is --
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ms. usa! olivia culpo is the winner. >> a self-described cellist nerd from rhode island won the ms. universe contest in las vegas, beating 88 other contestants. originally crowned ms. usa back in june and joins us live from vegas. congratulations to you. very proud of you. 15 years, that's quite an accomplishment there. as we were showing that, when he this first called out your name, what is going through your mind at that moment? >> i couldn't believe usa actually won the title. it has been since 1997. i kind of figured usa could never win this pageant, it was refreshing, and i'm really honored, excited for the year. >> olivia, beauty contests are often times criticized for bebeg superficial, why did you get involved? >> my parents were actually
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appear he apprehensive, they thought it was very superficial also. i wanted to do it to work on my interviewing skills, to work on my acting. i was studying communications in school. i was going back and forth of what i wanted to do in the future in terms of entertainment. it made sense. it wasn't anything superficial to me. it was just a way to practice my skills. >> i want to play your answer to the question part of the contest. it's a nerve-wracking moment. the judge ms. universe 2010, asked you if there was something that you have done that you will never do again. here is your answer? >> something that i have regretted would probably be picking on my siblings growing up. you appreciate them more as you grow older, but everybody fights with their siblings, right? but i don't regret it. >> regret it, don't regret it. now nervous were you leading up to that? does that factor in how you answer that question? i would imagine yes.
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>> i was not nervous for my top five question. i am never nervous about answering questions. for me, it's more about not falling on my face. i was a little upset they didn't give me more difficult question. everybody does things they regret and makes mistakes so i wish there was more controversy in the question. >> are you a sophomore at boston university. studying communications. what's next for you? >> terriers. >> i have a boston guy sitting next to me. that's what you are hearing in the background. >> terriers, yeah, that's right. i think i'll take the year, see what happens, probably go back to boston university, but i definitely want to fin your honor my education. >> you come from a big italian family. how are they reacting to this? >> oh, gosh. they are so excited. i feel bad for whoever runs into them. i will just apologize. they won't stop talking about
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it. >> congratulations to you, olivia culpo, ms. universe. thank you for joining us this morning. >> ms. rhode island. all new england rejoices and joins in her victory. >> not going back to boston. a bedrock part of our happy little cnn family is leaving us. rob marciano, if i thought you were going to slip off without aysenoff, your forecast was way, way off. [ tylenol bottle ] nyquil what are you doing?
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so it may not be the apocalypse after all, but it's the ends of the world on "early start". >> rob marciano's last date at the network after nine years here at cnn. rob, we'll miss you desperately. christine and i have been talking about it all morning. so we put together a little tribute for the guy who has covered it all. watch. ♪ >> right now, looking at rainfall across parts of south carolina. some heavy at times. eastern flank of the storm, and
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block drop out of the clouds. levees blew up two nights ago. all of the river flowing into what was dry farmland. we can hear the exhaustion in your voice. we talked earlier how devastating this is. try to put it into words what you experienced this week? neglected middle child a category 4 beast with a distin t distinctive eye. the secenter of the storm heade this way. this hotel is literally coming apa apart. right front quadrant, the worst part of the storm. this canopy structure, coming apart with the wind of this storm. >> i would rather be out of here. out in ten days. this requires the touch of a surgeon trying to get these little tiny tar balls off the
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beach without taking a ton of sand. not easy. come on, guys. you got it. i just went 20 yards. not very stylish and i'm completely out of breath. >> did you feel extreme? >> i felt totally extreme. >> yeah! that was my stunt double. way to rip it up, kid. now give me my jacket back. >> we're about halfway through the charges. the blow today, and pretty happy with success they've had. winds blowing less than ten miles an hour. this moving incredible fast. the four shoots, where the fire retardant foam comes out. gathering weather information. the aren't the weather geeks i went to school with. >> good morning. >> toasty in here. >> we hear you. >> rob, where are you. >> oh, my god.
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>> a little toasty, so i took my jacket off and i forgot it has my microphone. >> speed record coming at you right now. let's do this. that was huge. curling right over top of my head. full disclosure, i'm eddie muenster, i'll take care of this right here. you in house big foot expert. >> i have size 13 feet. that's the only reason they asked me to do this season. ♪ i feel pretty, i feel pretty >> working at a haunted house is an adrenaline rush, but now time for my day job. oh, that's true, baby. >> rob, every day at the end of the show, we ask best advice we ever received. what want to hear from you. what's the best advice you ever received? >> don't ever dress up like a zombie. no, you know, my dad said when
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he saw the interest in meteorology as a kid. and he was a pilot that followed his dream. follow your passion, everything else will fall into place. with my new adventure coming, he's not really happy about the fact that i'm getting out of weather, so i'm hoping that dad is not right again, but it's going to be a new adventure. my adventure at cnn has been amazing, and my family here at cnn, truly close to my heart, and so many opportunities, and great professionals and people to work with. >> rob, we are all incredibly proud of you we have to say. i have to tell you this, i have never seen people watch video so closely as it happens, as when are you on tv here. it is like a force of nature, the place shuts down. >> what did he say? what did he say? >> rob marciano, all wet again. that's what people do when they watch rob in the hurricane. >> thank you not for sending me into the blizzard.
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>> i know you will miss all of that, seriously. we were watching just now many that's something how you are going to live without. >> you know there, are plenty of storms in hollywood to cover. lots of disasters out there. once the weather geek always a weather geek. every time there is a big storm spinning up, i certainly will salivate, that part will never go away, but the ride in tv land will continue. >> rob, you once worked on wall street, didn't you. >> i did i felt stupid. didn't know anything about wall street. i dove in there and tried my luck. >> a man of reinvention. from wall street to meter og, now glamorous life in the sunshine. >> going all hollywood on us. we should show you what happens when you google rob marciano. >> no. >> oh, yes, yes. >> there it is. >> what about the photo shoot where he looks very dapper. wall street.
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that one. yeah. >> that's a hurricane or blizzard. how do being like that hood. enough to hide many a gremlin in there. yeah, those shots are embarrassing. don't google me or yourself for that matter. you never know what's out there. another piece of advice. >> probably best advice i have ever received. rob, we'll miss you terribly. >> the best of luck, sir. you deserve all of it, so thanks very much. >> thanks, guys. that is all for "early start." i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts right now. we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. cisco.
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